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Court fines owners of New London marine business

New London — The city has won a second court judgment against the owners of a Pequot Avenue waterfront property once approved for a 50-slip marina for their failure to adhere to zoning regulations.

In November, a New London Superior Court judge ordered Green Harbor Waterfront LLC, owned by the Kennedy family, to pay a civil penalty of $7,500 plus $1,200 in attorney fees for failing to remove a boat, vehicle and marine equipment from the waterfront parcel they own at 92 Pequot Ave., across from Stash’s Café.

The Kennedys run Kennedy Marine Inc., a New London-based marine salvage and diving business, and were fined $250 a day for 30 days for what a judge called a “willful violation,” failure to abide by zoning regulations and a stipulated agreement.  

The city had first issued a cease-and-desist order to Patrick Kennedy on Dec. 8, 2011, because of the vehicles and equipment being stored on the property without any zoning approvals.

The city at that time was enforcing Operation Clean Sweep, a program involving multiple city agencies to bring into compliance violations of the city’s zoning and property maintenance codes.

John Kennedy, representing Kennedy Marine, purchased the .86-acre lot and a home across the street at 105-107 Pequot Ave. at auction in 2007 for $388,000 from late Richard Consiglio, who had originally planned to open a marina there.

Records show the property came with transferrable permits from the city, state Department of Environmental Protection and Army Corps of Engineers to build a 50-slip marina.

City permits have since expired.

Richard Dixon, an attorney representing Patrick Kennedy at the time, had argued that, “the claims of the plaintiff amount to an impermissible taking of the defendant’s property rights in violation of state and federal constitutional law.”

In an interview on Wednesday, Patrick Kennedy Sr.’s argument struck a similar note.

“The city is charging $18,000 a year in taxes, and I can’t even use my property,” Kennedy said. “How can you be taxed for something you can’t use?"

Kennedy, a former tug boat captain, said he runs a water taxi service and maintains that plans are in the works for a marina.

He said he continues to be treated unfairly by the city despite his 30 years in business in the area.

Attorney Gordon Videll, who represents Kennedy, said he plans to work with the city to help and resolve Kennedy’s outstanding liens.

November’s ruling follows a similar finding in January, when a Superior Court judge ordered Kennedy, under Green Harbor Marina Inc., to pay $8,240 for failing to comply with a different cease-and-desist order in 2014 related to use of his property at 105-107 Pequot Ave., which is also in the waterfront, commercial industrial zone.

g.smith@theday.com

Twitter: @SmittyDay

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